The Inner Citadel: The philosophy of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius

A detailed summary of Pierre Hadot’s classic book, which helped put Stoicism and ancient Greco-Roman philosophy back on the map

by Massimo Pigliucci

My Philosophy as Way of Life (PWOL) series of essays has now being going on since July 2018, and has produced 388 articles and counting. Naturally, people have a tendency to focus on the latest entries, but — if I may be forgiven for saying so — some of the early ones are worth reading as well. Which is why I am proposing this occasional series meant to highlight early PWOL entries grouped by interesting themes.

Today we are going to revisit a whopping nine essays I wrote about a highly impactful book authored by French scholar Pierre Hadot and entitled The Inner Citadel: the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Despite the subtitle, the book is just as much about the famous emperor-philosopher as it is about the major Stoic teacher who influenced him: Epictetus. Hadot’s book has been instrumental in putting not only Stoicism, but practical Hellenistic philosophy, back on the map, and you will hardly gain a better understanding of either Marcus or Epictetus by reading anything else about them. … (continue at Medium)

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Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at platofootnote.org and howtobeastoic.org. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

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